Wednesday Buff Bites

Colorado_mediumIn case you haven't seen it yet, the news of the day is Marcus Relphorde, a 6'7" 225 pound power forward from Indian Hills C.C., has announced his intent to sign with Jeff Bzdelik and the Colorado Buffaloes' basketball team. We have a full write up below.

Colorado_mediumKyle Ringo of the BDC names five players who he thinks stood out enough this spring to get strong consideration for playing time in 2009: LB Marcus Burton, C Mike Iltis, QB Tyler Hansen, DT Taj Kaynor and WR Jason Espinoza. Here are my thoughts:

No doubt about Burton and Iltis, they should be the starting middle linebacker and center, respectively, for the Buffs in 2009. Iltis isn't too much of a surprise but the fact that he really never relinquised the position this spring is a good sign especially with a new offensive line coach who probably wanted to see what he had at every position. Burton is probably the player who stood out the most of all the guys Ringo mentioned. You were always waiting for him to break out last year but he was mostly a special teams player. To me, he has had the most impressive spring of any linebacker (Beatty and Rippy were very close) showing his size would not be a deterrent from him getting sideline to sideline.

I am not sure about all of this talk regarding Tyler Hansen. Yes, Helfrich said they graded out close in all of their scrimmages and the race would not be decided until fall but if you would have asked me before spring camp about what Hansen needed to show to really make me believe that he was ready to surpass Hawkins, it wouldn't have been what I saw in the two scrimmages I attended. Spring ball will be a distant memory when fall camp concludes so Hansen has a lot of time to get ahead of Hawkins but, from my point of view and most others point of view, the battle doesn't really seem that close.

The real judgement for Jason Espinoza will be in fall when, hopefully, a solid trio of wide receivers come into camp; Andre Simmons, Terdema Ussery and Jarrod Darden. All of these receivers have something Espinoza doesn't have: size. Espinoza definitely stood out in all the scrimmages and can be efficient slot or #3 receiver that works the middle of the field but he will be on the same playing field as the other three incoming receivers in that you don't know what you are going to get come game day. The wide receiver position is going to be interesting to watch because so much may be riding on the three incomers to contribute.

As for Taj Kaynor, we will see. I didn't see enough from the defensive line in total to get that warm fuzzy feeling that the Buffs are going to be okay there. Truly, that will be the one position we won't know about until 5 - 10 minutes into the Colorado State game and then will be reassessed against West Virginia and Texas after the level of competition is raised a notch or two.

OT Bryce Givens would be a good addition to the list as he was thrusted into the starting tackle spot so quickly that initially, it was a surprise to everyone. It looks like all the work Givens did in the offseason to gain weight, coupled with becoming healthy from the concussions last season, paid off. I know RB Darrell Scott doesn't entirely qualify because this performance was expected but the way he trimmed down this offseason and worked hard all spring should be an indication that he is ready to tote the rock the majority of the time. RB Brian Lockridge raised some eye brows and the young safety combination of Patrick Mahnke and Anthony Perkins were solid all spring, giving us confidence that they can fill in nicely this year. 

Colorado_mediumThe Buffs men's golf team slipped a little to second place overall in the Big 12 tournament, three strokes behind Oklahoma State. Derek Tolan is still in contention for the overall individual title, four strokes back in sixth place. Tolan was tied for first after the first day of competition. Patrick Grady made a run, though, shooting a 70 yesterday, good enough for fourth place overall.

Colorado_mediumCalHiSports.com announced it's 2009 All State Grid-Hoop Teams, a statewide honor in California for the football-basketball dual-sport high school athletes. Incoming Buffs QB, Clark Evans, was named to the second team. Here is what they had to say about him:

Clark Evans (Los Alamitos)
There's a good reason why Evans, a 6-5, 210-pound senior, did not enroll early in the spring to attend classes at the University of Colorado, where he has signed to perhaps become a future quarterback for the Buffaloes. He was busy playing basketball. Evans, in fact, averaged 10.6 points (second-best on the team) and six rebounds and helped a balanced Los Al squad roll up a 27-2 record. His best two outings were 27 points in a win against Marina of Huntington Beach and 24 points in the team's upset loss to Lynwood in the playoffs. Evans was a three-year starter for the Griffins in football with 2,181 yards and 25 TDs as a senior. He also rushed for nearly 800 more yards and scored 12 times.

Anyone else excited to see this guy on campus?

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